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Our story

Imagine driving to work, on a day like most days, on a route you know like the back of your hand. A sudden wave of dizziness sweeps over you—something you’ve never before experienced—and you’re forced to pull over to the side of the road until someone can come get you.

After this happened to Jay Lichter, Ph.D., he and several doctors tried to find an answer to his medical mystery. Dr. Lichter was eventually diagnosed with Ménière’s disease, a chronic inner ear disorder that strikes suddenly in middle-age—and a condition that, like many conditions of the inner ear, has no FDA-approved drug treatment or cure. As a result, Otonomy was born.

Founded in 2008 by Dr. Lichter, his doctor, Jeffrey Harris, M.D., Ph.D., chief of otolaryngology/head and neck surgery at the University of California San Diego, and several other neurotology experts, Otonomy works toward a singular goal: bring new treatment options to patients with hearing and balance disorders. Our work began with resolving one of the key challenges in the field: enabling drug therapies to reach their targets within the protected inner ear. Today, we leverage this expertise and technology to develop novel therapeutics addressing important unmet medical needs across the neurotology field.

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Our team

Leadership Team
Board of Directors
Meet the Leadership Team
Dr. David A Weber headshot
David A. Weber, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer, President and Board Member
Dr. David A Weber headshot
David A. Weber, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer, President and Board Member

David A. Weber, Ph.D. has served as our President and Chief Executive Officer and on our board of directors since November 2010. Prior to joining us, Dr. Weber served from February 2004 to April 2010 as the Chief Executive Officer of MacuSight, a developer of a sustained delivery formulation of sirolimus for the treatment of severe ophthalmic diseases. Prior to MacuSight, he served as acting Chief Executive Officer and Executive Vice President of Oculex Pharmaceuticals, a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of intraocular pharmaceuticals and drug delivery systems, until its acquisition by Allergan in 2003. Dr. Weber has also held management positions in healthcare product development with Oral-B Laboratories and The Procter & Gamble Company. Dr. Weber has previously served on the board of directors of Oculis, a clinical stage ophthalmic biotechnology company, and On Demand Therapeutics, a medical device company. Dr. Weber received his Ph.D. in medical microbiology from Creighton University and his Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in biological sciences from Wichita State University.

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Jeffery J. Anderson, Ph.D.
Vice President, Clinical Sciences
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Jeffery J. Anderson, Ph.D.
Vice President, Clinical Sciences

Jeffery J. Anderson, Ph.D., is our Vice President, Clinical Sciences and previously served as Senior Director since joining Otonomy in May 2017. Dr. Anderson is a neuroscientist and pharmacologist with over 25 years of research and clinical development experience, primarily in neuroscience therapeutic areas. Prior to joining Otonomy, he served as Associate Director/Program Leader, Clinical Development at Dart Neuroscience and led drug development for compounds targeting stroke recovery and cognitive disorders. Previously, he served in various leadership roles at Cypress Bioscience and supported the development and NDA approval of SavellaTM (milnacipran) for fibromyalgia and the advancement of several clinical programs for schizophrenia and cognitive impairment. Prior to joining Cypress Bioscience, Dr. Anderson served in research leadership roles at Merck and at SIBIA Neurosciences focusing on drug discovery and development of compounds for Alzheimer’s disease, pain, and psychiatric disorders. Dr. Anderson was a post-doctoral fellow at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Experimental Therapeutics Branch. He obtained his Ph.D. in Pharmacology & Toxicology at Indiana University School of Medicine, and Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in Biology at the University of Dayton.

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Breianna Bowen
Vice President, Human Resources
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Breianna Bowen
Vice President, Human Resources

Breianna Bowen joined Otonomy in March 2015 and has assumed increasing responsibility leading to her appointment as our Vice President, Human Resources in September 2021. Ms. Bowen has over 15 years in human resources management including more than 10 years supporting biotech organizations at all phases of development through to commercialization. Prior to joining Otonomy, she served as Associate Director, Head of Human Resources and Administration for Apricus Biosciences (now Seelos) where she was responsible for human resources, information technology, facilities, office management and corporate risk functions. Previously, Ms. Bowen was Director, Human Resources for BioMed Realty Trust, a real estate investment trust. She received her Bachelor’s degree by double-majoring in Industrial Organizational Psychology and Corporate Communications from Manhattan College in Riverdale, New York, and also earned a certificate in Human Resources Leadership from the University of California, San Diego.

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James Branch, CPA
Vice President, Finance and Controller
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James Branch, CPA
Vice President, Finance and Controller

James (“Jim”) Branch joined Otonomy in July 2011 as our Director of Accounting and Controller, and assumed increasing responsibility leading to his appointment as our Vice President, Finance and Controller in September 2021. Mr. Branch has over 25 years of experience in managing financial operations and accounting activities, including nearly 14 years in the life science industry. Prior to joining Otonomy, he provided accounting and financial operations support as Controller for multiple early-stage biotech companies founded by Avalon Ventures. Mr. Branch began his career as a Staff and Senior Auditor at the BDO Seidman independent accounting firm and then transitioned to in-house roles in financial operations at several technology-based companies before moving to the biotech industry. He is an active CPA in the State of California and received a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of California at Santa Barbara.

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Paul E. Cayer
Chief Financial and Business Officer
Paul E. Cayer headshot
Paul E. Cayer
Chief Financial and Business Officer

Paul E. Cayer has served as our Chief Business Officer since October 2008 and Chief Financial Officer since October 2010. Mr. Cayer brings more than 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical, medical device and healthcare technology field. Prior to joining our company, Mr. Cayer served from 2005 to 2008 as Senior Vice President, Corporate Development for Verus Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the treatment of allergic and respiratory disorders in children. Mr. Cayer has also held various management positions with Targeted Molecules Corporation, a biopharmaceutical company, Gensia Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, Acuson, a provider of medical ultrasound systems, Castle & Cooke, a consumer products company, and served as consultant with Booz-Allen & Hamilton, a management and technology consulting firm. Mr. Cayer received his Bachelor’s degree in biomechanical engineering from Harvard University and MBA from the Harvard Business School.

Barbara M. Finn headshot
Barbara M. Finn
Senior Vice President, Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance
Barbara M. Finn headshot
Barbara M. Finn
Senior Vice President, Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance

Barbara M. Finn is our Senior Vice President, Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance and previously served as Vice President since joining Otonomy in September 2013. Ms. Finn has over 40 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. Prior to joining Otonomy, she served as the Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance at Sonexa, a private biotech company, where she had primary responsibility for interactions with the FDA and other regulatory authorities related to the company’s Alzheimer’s disease program. Previously, Ms. Finn served as Vice President, Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance at Neurocrine Biosciences, where she supported programs for insomnia, endometriosis, multiple sclerosis, and glioblastoma, and held various leadership positions as a regulatory affairs consultant at Quintiles. She began her career at Ciba-Geigy (now Novartis) where she spent 13 years in various roles starting as a research scientist in medicinal chemistry, transitioning to clinical research and then regulatory affairs. She is a past instructor in the SDSU Regulatory Science program. Ms. Finn received her Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from the College of St. Elizabeth in Convent Station, New Jersey.

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Alan C. Foster, Ph.D.
Chief Scientific Officer
Dr. Alan C. Foster headshot
Alan C. Foster, Ph.D.
Chief Scientific Officer

Alan C. Foster, Ph.D., has served as our Chief Scientific Officer since April of 2021 and was our Vice President, Research beginning December 2014. Dr. Foster is a neuroscientist and pharmacologist with over 35 years of drug discovery and development experience. During his career, he has led research programs that identified multiple drug candidates for a wide range of biological targets in the neuroscience, ophthalmology and neurotology therapeutic areas. Prior to Otonomy, he served as Vice President of Pharmacology at Allergan, and Vice President of Neuroscience at Neurocrine Biosciences. Previously, he held research leadership positions at Gensia Pharmaceuticals and Merck. Dr. Foster was a post-doctoral fellow at both the University of California, Irvine, Department of Psychobiology, and the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center, University of Maryland School of Medicine. He obtained his Ph.D. in Neuropharmacology and a Bachelor’s degree in Physiology and Biochemistry from the University of Southampton, United Kingdom.

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Fabrice Piu, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President, Preclinical Development
Dr. Fabrice Piu headshot
Fabrice Piu, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President, Preclinical Development

Fabrice Piu, Ph.D., is our Senior Vice President of Preclinical Development. He joined Otonomy at its inception in August 2008 as Senior Director of Research and Non-Clinical Development and served as our Vice President, Research and Preclinical Development since January 2013. Dr. Piu has more than twenty years of drug research and development experience primarily in the field of neuroscience. Previously, he held various management positions at ACADIA Pharmaceuticals, including Director of Chemical Genomics, where he helped support the development of Nuplazid (pimavanserin), an atypical antipsychotic indicated for the treatment of hallucinations and delusions associated with Parkinson’s Disease. Dr. Piu was a post-doctoral fellow in the Pharmacology Department at the University of California, San Diego. He holds a Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from Ecole Normale Superieure and University of Lyon, France, a Master’s degree in Genetics and Immunology and Bachelor’s degrees in Molecular and Cellular Biology, and Biochemistry, from the University of Lyon.

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James Robinson
Vice President, Biometrics and Data Sciences
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James Robinson
Vice President, Biometrics and Data Sciences

James Robinson is our Vice President, Biometrics and Data Sciences and previously served as Senior Director since joining Otonomy in March 2020. Mr. Robinson has over 23 years of clinical trial research experience with technical and operational expertise from Phase I through Phase IV across a broad range of therapeutics areas and has extensive experience with regulatory submissions and data standards. Prior to Otonomy, Mr. Robinson served as Vice President of Biostatistics and Data Management at Conatus Pharmaceuticals, a liver disease biotech company acquired by Histogen. He began his career as a clinical trial statistician with Eli Lilly, acquired additional experience at Amgen and Neurocrine Biosciences, and held a leadership role in biometrics for Allergan Medical, Optimer Pharmaceuticals, and Dexcom. He has also served as a statistical consultant supporting multiple private biotech and medical device companies. Mr. Robinson received his Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics with a concentration in Statistics and graduated with distinction from Sonoma State University. He subsequently received his Master’s Degree in Applied Statistics from Purdue University.

Robert M. Savel, II headshot
Robert M. Savel, II
Chief Technical Officer
Robert M. Savel, II headshot
Robert M. Savel, II
Chief Technical Officer

Robert M. Savel, II has served as our Chief Technical Officer since January 2014. From September 2011 to December 2013, Mr. Savel served as General Manager and Senior Vice President of Operations for Optimer Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company. From September 2010 to June 2011, Mr. Savel served as Senior Vice President and Chief Technical Officer for Inspire Pharmaceuticals, Inc., an ophthalmic pharmaceutical company. From April 2008 to September 2010, Mr. Savel served as President of Savel Enterprises LLC, a management consulting firm providing technical and operational support to biopharmaceutical clients. From April 2007 to April 2008, Mr. Savel served as the Senior Vice President of Technical Operations for PDL BioPharma. Earlier in his career, he held leadership operating positions with Johnson & Johnson, which included the position of Vice President, Quality and Compliance. Mr. Savel received his Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia.

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David Skarinsky
Senior Vice President, Clinical
David Skarinsky headshot
David Skarinsky
Senior Vice President, Clinical

David Skarinsky is our Senior Vice President, Clinical and previously served as Vice President since joining Otonomy in January 2020. Mr. Skarinsky has over 30 years of experience leading multi-national clinical development programs from Phase I through Phase IV across a broad range of therapeutic areas, and providing support for regulatory filings and interactions with the FDA and foreign regulatory authorities. Prior to Otonomy, Mr. Skarinsky served as Vice President, Clinical Operations and Regulatory Affairs at Abide Therapeutics, a CNS drug developer acquired by H. Lundbeck A/S in 2019. He previously served as Vice President Clinical Operations at Nabriva Therapeutics and at Zavante Therapeutics (prior to its acquisition by Nabriva), where he led clinical operations from IND to NDA for the IV antibiotic ContepoTM. Mr. Skarinsky also held various multidisciplinary leadership positions during more than a decade of clinical research program management at Parexel International and Quintiles CNS Therapeutics, was responsible for clinical operations and project management at Hollis Eden Pharmaceuticals, and served in clinical program management roles at Rhone-Poulenc Rorer, Sanofi, and Medeva. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience from Amherst College.

Anna Stepanenko headshot
Anna Stepanenko
Vice President, Technical Operations
Anna Stepanenko headshot
Anna Stepanenko
Vice President, Technical Operations

Anna Stepanenko joined Otonomy in March 2014 and has assumed increasing responsibility leading to her appointment as Vice President, Technical Operations in January 2020. Ms. Stepanenko has over 20 years of product development and CMC experience supporting pharmaceutical products from Phase I through commercialization. Ms. Stepanenko has broad expertise in pre-formulation development as well as in manufacturing, process development, scale-up and process validation for drug substances and drug products. Prior to Otonomy, she served as the Director, Technical Operations at Optimer Pharmaceuticals where she was responsible for GMP manufacturing from clinical development through commercialization. Prior to Optimer, she held various formulation science, process development and pharmaceutical manufacturing positions at Prometheus Laboratories, Neurocrine Biosciences, Magellan Laboratories, and Amylin Pharmaceuticals. Ms. Stepanenko received her Master’s degree in Biochemistry from University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from Moscow State University, Russia.

Dr. David A Weber headshot
David A. Weber, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer, President and Board Member

David A. Weber, Ph.D. has served as our President and Chief Executive Officer and on our board of directors since November 2010. Prior to joining us, Dr. Weber served from February 2004 to April 2010 as the Chief Executive Officer of MacuSight, a developer of a sustained delivery formulation of sirolimus for the treatment of severe ophthalmic diseases. Prior to MacuSight, he served as acting Chief Executive Officer and Executive Vice President of Oculex Pharmaceuticals, a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of intraocular pharmaceuticals and drug delivery systems, until its acquisition by Allergan in 2003. Dr. Weber has also held management positions in healthcare product development with Oral-B Laboratories and The Procter & Gamble Company. Dr. Weber has previously served on the board of directors of Oculis, a clinical stage ophthalmic biotechnology company, and On Demand Therapeutics, a medical device company. Dr. Weber received his Ph.D. in medical microbiology from Creighton University and his Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in biological sciences from Wichita State University.

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Jeffery J. Anderson, Ph.D.
Vice President, Clinical Sciences

Jeffery J. Anderson, Ph.D., is our Vice President, Clinical Sciences and previously served as Senior Director since joining Otonomy in May 2017. Dr. Anderson is a neuroscientist and pharmacologist with over 25 years of research and clinical development experience, primarily in neuroscience therapeutic areas. Prior to joining Otonomy, he served as Associate Director/Program Leader, Clinical Development at Dart Neuroscience and led drug development for compounds targeting stroke recovery and cognitive disorders. Previously, he served in various leadership roles at Cypress Bioscience and supported the development and NDA approval of SavellaTM (milnacipran) for fibromyalgia and the advancement of several clinical programs for schizophrenia and cognitive impairment. Prior to joining Cypress Bioscience, Dr. Anderson served in research leadership roles at Merck and at SIBIA Neurosciences focusing on drug discovery and development of compounds for Alzheimer’s disease, pain, and psychiatric disorders. Dr. Anderson was a post-doctoral fellow at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Experimental Therapeutics Branch. He obtained his Ph.D. in Pharmacology & Toxicology at Indiana University School of Medicine, and Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in Biology at the University of Dayton.

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Breianna Bowen
Vice President, Human Resources

Breianna Bowen joined Otonomy in March 2015 and has assumed increasing responsibility leading to her appointment as our Vice President, Human Resources in September 2021. Ms. Bowen has over 15 years in human resources management including more than 10 years supporting biotech organizations at all phases of development through to commercialization. Prior to joining Otonomy, she served as Associate Director, Head of Human Resources and Administration for Apricus Biosciences (now Seelos) where she was responsible for human resources, information technology, facilities, office management and corporate risk functions. Previously, Ms. Bowen was Director, Human Resources for BioMed Realty Trust, a real estate investment trust. She received her Bachelor’s degree by double-majoring in Industrial Organizational Psychology and Corporate Communications from Manhattan College in Riverdale, New York, and also earned a certificate in Human Resources Leadership from the University of California, San Diego.

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James Branch, CPA
Vice President, Finance and Controller

James (“Jim”) Branch joined Otonomy in July 2011 as our Director of Accounting and Controller, and assumed increasing responsibility leading to his appointment as our Vice President, Finance and Controller in September 2021. Mr. Branch has over 25 years of experience in managing financial operations and accounting activities, including nearly 14 years in the life science industry. Prior to joining Otonomy, he provided accounting and financial operations support as Controller for multiple early-stage biotech companies founded by Avalon Ventures. Mr. Branch began his career as a Staff and Senior Auditor at the BDO Seidman independent accounting firm and then transitioned to in-house roles in financial operations at several technology-based companies before moving to the biotech industry. He is an active CPA in the State of California and received a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of California at Santa Barbara.

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Paul E. Cayer headshot
Paul E. Cayer
Chief Financial and Business Officer

Paul E. Cayer has served as our Chief Business Officer since October 2008 and Chief Financial Officer since October 2010. Mr. Cayer brings more than 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical, medical device and healthcare technology field. Prior to joining our company, Mr. Cayer served from 2005 to 2008 as Senior Vice President, Corporate Development for Verus Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the treatment of allergic and respiratory disorders in children. Mr. Cayer has also held various management positions with Targeted Molecules Corporation, a biopharmaceutical company, Gensia Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, Acuson, a provider of medical ultrasound systems, Castle & Cooke, a consumer products company, and served as consultant with Booz-Allen & Hamilton, a management and technology consulting firm. Mr. Cayer received his Bachelor’s degree in biomechanical engineering from Harvard University and MBA from the Harvard Business School.

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Barbara M. Finn headshot
Barbara M. Finn
Senior Vice President, Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance

Barbara M. Finn is our Senior Vice President, Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance and previously served as Vice President since joining Otonomy in September 2013. Ms. Finn has over 40 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. Prior to joining Otonomy, she served as the Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance at Sonexa, a private biotech company, where she had primary responsibility for interactions with the FDA and other regulatory authorities related to the company’s Alzheimer’s disease program. Previously, Ms. Finn served as Vice President, Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance at Neurocrine Biosciences, where she supported programs for insomnia, endometriosis, multiple sclerosis, and glioblastoma, and held various leadership positions as a regulatory affairs consultant at Quintiles. She began her career at Ciba-Geigy (now Novartis) where she spent 13 years in various roles starting as a research scientist in medicinal chemistry, transitioning to clinical research and then regulatory affairs. She is a past instructor in the SDSU Regulatory Science program. Ms. Finn received her Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from the College of St. Elizabeth in Convent Station, New Jersey.

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Dr. Alan C. Foster headshot
Alan C. Foster, Ph.D.
Chief Scientific Officer

Alan C. Foster, Ph.D., has served as our Chief Scientific Officer since April of 2021 and was our Vice President, Research beginning December 2014. Dr. Foster is a neuroscientist and pharmacologist with over 35 years of drug discovery and development experience. During his career, he has led research programs that identified multiple drug candidates for a wide range of biological targets in the neuroscience, ophthalmology and neurotology therapeutic areas. Prior to Otonomy, he served as Vice President of Pharmacology at Allergan, and Vice President of Neuroscience at Neurocrine Biosciences. Previously, he held research leadership positions at Gensia Pharmaceuticals and Merck. Dr. Foster was a post-doctoral fellow at both the University of California, Irvine, Department of Psychobiology, and the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center, University of Maryland School of Medicine. He obtained his Ph.D. in Neuropharmacology and a Bachelor’s degree in Physiology and Biochemistry from the University of Southampton, United Kingdom.

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Dr. Fabrice Piu headshot
Fabrice Piu, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President, Preclinical Development

Fabrice Piu, Ph.D., is our Senior Vice President of Preclinical Development. He joined Otonomy at its inception in August 2008 as Senior Director of Research and Non-Clinical Development and served as our Vice President, Research and Preclinical Development since January 2013. Dr. Piu has more than twenty years of drug research and development experience primarily in the field of neuroscience. Previously, he held various management positions at ACADIA Pharmaceuticals, including Director of Chemical Genomics, where he helped support the development of Nuplazid (pimavanserin), an atypical antipsychotic indicated for the treatment of hallucinations and delusions associated with Parkinson’s Disease. Dr. Piu was a post-doctoral fellow in the Pharmacology Department at the University of California, San Diego. He holds a Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from Ecole Normale Superieure and University of Lyon, France, a Master’s degree in Genetics and Immunology and Bachelor’s degrees in Molecular and Cellular Biology, and Biochemistry, from the University of Lyon.

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James Robinson
Vice President, Biometrics and Data Sciences

James Robinson is our Vice President, Biometrics and Data Sciences and previously served as Senior Director since joining Otonomy in March 2020. Mr. Robinson has over 23 years of clinical trial research experience with technical and operational expertise from Phase I through Phase IV across a broad range of therapeutics areas and has extensive experience with regulatory submissions and data standards. Prior to Otonomy, Mr. Robinson served as Vice President of Biostatistics and Data Management at Conatus Pharmaceuticals, a liver disease biotech company acquired by Histogen. He began his career as a clinical trial statistician with Eli Lilly, acquired additional experience at Amgen and Neurocrine Biosciences, and held a leadership role in biometrics for Allergan Medical, Optimer Pharmaceuticals, and Dexcom. He has also served as a statistical consultant supporting multiple private biotech and medical device companies. Mr. Robinson received his Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics with a concentration in Statistics and graduated with distinction from Sonoma State University. He subsequently received his Master’s Degree in Applied Statistics from Purdue University.

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Robert M. Savel, II headshot
Robert M. Savel, II
Chief Technical Officer

Robert M. Savel, II has served as our Chief Technical Officer since January 2014. From September 2011 to December 2013, Mr. Savel served as General Manager and Senior Vice President of Operations for Optimer Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company. From September 2010 to June 2011, Mr. Savel served as Senior Vice President and Chief Technical Officer for Inspire Pharmaceuticals, Inc., an ophthalmic pharmaceutical company. From April 2008 to September 2010, Mr. Savel served as President of Savel Enterprises LLC, a management consulting firm providing technical and operational support to biopharmaceutical clients. From April 2007 to April 2008, Mr. Savel served as the Senior Vice President of Technical Operations for PDL BioPharma. Earlier in his career, he held leadership operating positions with Johnson & Johnson, which included the position of Vice President, Quality and Compliance. Mr. Savel received his Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia.

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David Skarinsky headshot
David Skarinsky
Senior Vice President, Clinical

David Skarinsky is our Senior Vice President, Clinical and previously served as Vice President since joining Otonomy in January 2020. Mr. Skarinsky has over 30 years of experience leading multi-national clinical development programs from Phase I through Phase IV across a broad range of therapeutic areas, and providing support for regulatory filings and interactions with the FDA and foreign regulatory authorities. Prior to Otonomy, Mr. Skarinsky served as Vice President, Clinical Operations and Regulatory Affairs at Abide Therapeutics, a CNS drug developer acquired by H. Lundbeck A/S in 2019. He previously served as Vice President Clinical Operations at Nabriva Therapeutics and at Zavante Therapeutics (prior to its acquisition by Nabriva), where he led clinical operations from IND to NDA for the IV antibiotic ContepoTM. Mr. Skarinsky also held various multidisciplinary leadership positions during more than a decade of clinical research program management at Parexel International and Quintiles CNS Therapeutics, was responsible for clinical operations and project management at Hollis Eden Pharmaceuticals, and served in clinical program management roles at Rhone-Poulenc Rorer, Sanofi, and Medeva. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience from Amherst College.

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Anna Stepanenko headshot
Anna Stepanenko
Vice President, Technical Operations

Anna Stepanenko joined Otonomy in March 2014 and has assumed increasing responsibility leading to her appointment as Vice President, Technical Operations in January 2020. Ms. Stepanenko has over 20 years of product development and CMC experience supporting pharmaceutical products from Phase I through commercialization. Ms. Stepanenko has broad expertise in pre-formulation development as well as in manufacturing, process development, scale-up and process validation for drug substances and drug products. Prior to Otonomy, she served as the Director, Technical Operations at Optimer Pharmaceuticals where she was responsible for GMP manufacturing from clinical development through commercialization. Prior to Optimer, she held various formulation science, process development and pharmaceutical manufacturing positions at Prometheus Laboratories, Neurocrine Biosciences, Magellan Laboratories, and Amylin Pharmaceuticals. Ms. Stepanenko received her Master’s degree in Biochemistry from University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from Moscow State University, Russia.

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Meet the Board of Directors
Jay Lichter headshot
Jay Lichter, Ph.D.
Chairman
Jay Lichter headshot
Jay Lichter, Ph.D.
Chairman

Jay Lichter, Ph.D. has served on our board of directors since May 2008 and Chairman of our board of directors since August 2015. Dr. Lichter served as our Chief Executive Officer from inception until November 2010. Dr. Lichter is currently Chief Executive Officer of Avelas BioSciences and Fortis, both private biotechnology companies. He is an experienced biotechnology and pharmaceutical business executive with over 25 years of experience in management, scientific research and business development. Since 2007, Dr. Lichter has been a Managing Director at Avalon Ventures, an early-stage venture capital fund focused on information technology and life sciences. In that role, he led Avalon’s investments and served on the board of directors for public companies SynthoRx and Aratana Therapeutics as well as for several privately-held biotechnology companies where he also served as the Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Lichter led Avalon’s investments in or currently serves on the board of Janux Therapeutics and several privately-held companies including Fortis Therapeutics, Avelas BioSciences, and COI Pharmaceuticals among other life science companies. Dr. Lichter received a Bachelor’s degree and Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Illinois. He also completed post-doctoral fellowships at Yale University and Du Pont Merck Pharmaceutical Company.

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James B. Breitmeyer, M.D., Ph.D.
Board Member
James Breitmeyer headshot
James B. Breitmeyer, M.D., Ph.D.
Board Member

James B. Breitmeyer, M.D., Ph.D. has served on our board of directors since June 2018. Since September 2015, Dr. Breitmeyer has served as President, Chief Executive Officer and director of Oncternal Therapeutics, Inc. a clinical-stage oncology biotechnology company. He has been a director of Zogenix, Inc., a pharmaceutical company, since March 2014, and was their acting Chief Medical Officer from August 2012 to February 2013. Previously, Dr. Breitmeyer served as President of Bavarian Nordic, Inc. and Executive Vice President of Bavarian A/S, a multinational corporation headquartered in Denmark, from February 2013 to July 2015. He previously served as the Executive Vice President of Development and Chief Medical Officer of Cadence Pharmaceuticals Inc., a pharmaceutical company, from August 2006 to August 2012, and the Chief Medical Officer of Applied Molecular Evolution Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Eli Lilly and Co., a global pharmaceutical company, from December 2001 to August 2006. Dr. Breitmeyer has also served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Harvard Clinical Research Institute, and as Chief Medical Officer and Head of Research & Development for North America at Serono Laboratories Inc., an international biopharmaceutical company. Dr. Breitmeyer served as a founding collaborator and scientific advisor to Immunogen Inc., a biotechnology company, and held clinical and teaching positions at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School. Dr. Breitmeyer earned his B.A. in Chemistry from the University of California and his M.D. and Ph.D. from Washington University School of Medicine and is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Oncology.

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Jill Broadfoot
Board Member
Jill-Broadfoot
Jill Broadfoot
Board Member

Jill Broadfoot has served on our board of directors since August 2021. Since July 2018, Ms. Broadfoot has served as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of aTyr Pharma. Prior to joining aTyr, she served as CFO of Emerald Health Pharmaceuticals and Emerald Health Bioceuticals where she was responsible for establishing operations for the U.S.-based pharmaceutical and bioceuticals entities as well as the establishment of operations, corporate governance, finance and accounting, and investor relations functions. Prior to Emerald Health, Ms. Broadfoot served as Vice President, U.S. Corporate Controller at GW Pharmaceuticals. While at GW Pharmaceuticals, her responsibilities included establishing U.S. commercial operations and implementing U.S. public company financial and accounting standards in connection with the transfer of corporate operations from the U.K. to the U.S. Prior to joining GW Pharmaceuticals, Ms. Broadfoot served as CFO of Vical, held various positions at DJO Global including Vice President of Finance, and served as an audit manager at Ernst & Young LLP. She holds a B.S. in business administration and accounting from San Diego State University and is a Certified Public Accountant.

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Vickie Capps
Board Member
Vickie Capps headshot
Vickie Capps
Board Member

Vickie Capps has served on our board of directors since March 2014. From July 2002 to December 2013, Ms. Capps was the Chief Financial Officer of DJO Global, Inc., a medical device company. Prior to joining DJO Global, Inc., Ms. Capps served as the Chief Financial Officer of several other public and private companies. Ms. Capps currently serves as a member of the board of directors and various board committees of NuVasive, Silverback Therapeutics, Janux Therapeutics and Amedisys. In addition, Ms. Capps serves as a member of the senior advisory board of Consonance Partners (CCP), a healthcare investment firm. Ms. Capps previously served on the boards of several other public and private companies including Synthorx, OmniGuide, Connecture, RF Surgical Systems, and SenoRx. Ms. Capps serves as a member of the board of directors of the San Diego State University Research Foundation and is a member of its audit committee and its finance and investment committee. Earlier in her career, Ms. Capps was a Senior Audit and Accounting Professional at Ernst & Young, LLP. Ms. Capps is a California Certified Public Accountant and was recognized as a CFO of the Year Honoree by the San Diego Business Journal in 2009 and 2010. Ms. Capps holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration/Accounting from San Diego State University.

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Ciara Kennedy, Ph.D.
Board Member
Ciara Kennedy headshot
Ciara Kennedy, Ph.D.
Board Member

Ciara Kennedy, Ph.D. has served on our board of directors since March 2020. Beginning in 2021, Dr. Kennedy has served as the Chief Executive Officer of Sorriso Pharmaceuticals. From December 2016 through its acquisition by Pfizer in April 2021, she served as President, Chief Executive Officer and director of Amplyx Pharmaceuticals, and previously served as the company’s Chief Operating Officer beginning in October 2015. Prior to Amplyx, she served as Chief Operating Officer at Lumena Pharmaceuticals, until the company’s acquisition by Shire Pharmaceuticals, and then continued as Vice President, Head of Cholestatic Liver Disease at Shire post acquisition. Previously, Dr. Kennedy held several positions at Cypress Bioscience where she played a key role in the company’s FDA approval and launch of Savella® for fibromyalgia, and also held several positions in program and alliance management at Biogen Idec where she managed multiple development projects spanning the drug discovery and development continuum. She is a founder of Reneo Pharmaceuticals and Mirum Pharmaceuticals, and also serves as a member of the board of directors of Amunix Pharmaceuticals and Aristea Therapeutics. Dr. Kennedy received her doctorate at the Queen’s University of Belfast, Northern Ireland, her Master of Business Administration from the Rady School of Management at UCSD, and Bachelor of Science from University of Cork, Ireland.

Iain McGill headshot
Iain McGill
Board Member
Iain McGill headshot
Iain McGill
Board Member

Iain McGill has served on our board of directors since August 2016. Mr. McGill has over 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotech sector and currently serves as Chief Executive Officer and member of the board of directors for Quell Therapeutics, a privately held, innovating cell and gene therapy company in the immune dysregulation field. Between June 2012 and June 2019 Mr. McGill served as Senior Vice President, Europe and Rest of World for Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc with responsibility for all ex-U.S. operations. Between 2010 and 2012, Mr. McGill served as Chief Commercial Officer of EUSA Pharma, a specialty pharmaceutical company based in the UK, which was acquired by Jazz Pharmaceuticals in 2012. From 2006 to 2009, Mr. McGill served as Vice President and Global Business Manager for Transplantation and Immunology at Wyeth, a pharmaceutical company acquired by Pfizer Inc. Previously, Mr. McGill held general management and commercial leadership positions with increasing responsibility over thirteen years at Novartis and Roche. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry from the University of London.

Ted Schroeder headshot
Theodore R. Schroeder
Board Member
Ted Schroeder headshot
Theodore R. Schroeder
Board Member

Theodore R. Schroeder has served on our board of directors since August 2015. Since July 2018, Mr. Schroeder has served as Chief Executive Officer and as a member of the board of directors of Nabriva Therapeutics plc, a public biopharmaceutical company. Previously, Mr. Schroeder served as President, Chief Executive Officer and as a member of the board of directors of Zavante Therapeutics, a private biopharmaceutical company, from June 2015 to July 2018. Mr. Schroeder co-founded Cadence Pharmaceuticals, a formerly-public pharmaceutical company, and served as its President and Chief Executive Officer, and as a member of the board of directors, from May 2004 until its acquisition in March 2014 by Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals. Prior to this, Mr. Schroeder held a number of hospital-related sales and marketing positions with Elan, Dura Pharmaceuticals and Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, a global pharmaceutical company. Mr. Schroeder currently serves on the board of directors of Cidara Therapeutics, a public biotechnology company. Mr. Schroeder holds a Bachelor’s degree in management from Rutgers University.

Dr. David A Weber headshot
David A. Weber, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer, President and Board Member
Dr. David A Weber headshot
David A. Weber, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer, President and Board Member

David A. Weber, Ph.D. has served as our President and Chief Executive Officer and on our board of directors since November 2010. Prior to joining us, Dr. Weber served from February 2004 to April 2010 as the Chief Executive Officer of MacuSight, a developer of a sustained delivery formulation of sirolimus for the treatment of severe ophthalmic diseases. Prior to MacuSight, he served as acting Chief Executive Officer and Executive Vice President of Oculex Pharmaceuticals, a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of intraocular pharmaceuticals and drug delivery systems, until its acquisition by Allergan in 2003. Dr. Weber has also held management positions in healthcare product development with Oral-B Laboratories and The Procter & Gamble Company. Dr. Weber has previously served on the board of directors of Oculis, a clinical stage ophthalmic biotechnology company, and On Demand Therapeutics, a medical device company. Dr. Weber received his Ph.D. in medical microbiology from Creighton University and his Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in biological sciences from Wichita State University.

Jay Lichter headshot
Jay Lichter, Ph.D.
Chairman

Jay Lichter, Ph.D. has served on our board of directors since May 2008 and Chairman of our board of directors since August 2015. Dr. Lichter served as our Chief Executive Officer from inception until November 2010. Dr. Lichter is currently Chief Executive Officer of Avelas BioSciences and Fortis, both private biotechnology companies. He is an experienced biotechnology and pharmaceutical business executive with over 25 years of experience in management, scientific research and business development. Since 2007, Dr. Lichter has been a Managing Director at Avalon Ventures, an early-stage venture capital fund focused on information technology and life sciences. In that role, he led Avalon’s investments and served on the board of directors for public companies SynthoRx and Aratana Therapeutics as well as for several privately-held biotechnology companies where he also served as the Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Lichter led Avalon’s investments in or currently serves on the board of Janux Therapeutics and several privately-held companies including Fortis Therapeutics, Avelas BioSciences, and COI Pharmaceuticals among other life science companies. Dr. Lichter received a Bachelor’s degree and Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Illinois. He also completed post-doctoral fellowships at Yale University and Du Pont Merck Pharmaceutical Company.

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James Breitmeyer headshot
James B. Breitmeyer, M.D., Ph.D.
Board Member

James B. Breitmeyer, M.D., Ph.D. has served on our board of directors since June 2018. Since September 2015, Dr. Breitmeyer has served as President, Chief Executive Officer and director of Oncternal Therapeutics, Inc. a clinical-stage oncology biotechnology company. He has been a director of Zogenix, Inc., a pharmaceutical company, since March 2014, and was their acting Chief Medical Officer from August 2012 to February 2013. Previously, Dr. Breitmeyer served as President of Bavarian Nordic, Inc. and Executive Vice President of Bavarian A/S, a multinational corporation headquartered in Denmark, from February 2013 to July 2015. He previously served as the Executive Vice President of Development and Chief Medical Officer of Cadence Pharmaceuticals Inc., a pharmaceutical company, from August 2006 to August 2012, and the Chief Medical Officer of Applied Molecular Evolution Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Eli Lilly and Co., a global pharmaceutical company, from December 2001 to August 2006. Dr. Breitmeyer has also served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Harvard Clinical Research Institute, and as Chief Medical Officer and Head of Research & Development for North America at Serono Laboratories Inc., an international biopharmaceutical company. Dr. Breitmeyer served as a founding collaborator and scientific advisor to Immunogen Inc., a biotechnology company, and held clinical and teaching positions at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School. Dr. Breitmeyer earned his B.A. in Chemistry from the University of California and his M.D. and Ph.D. from Washington University School of Medicine and is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Oncology.

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Jill-Broadfoot
Jill Broadfoot
Board Member

Jill Broadfoot has served on our board of directors since August 2021. Since July 2018, Ms. Broadfoot has served as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of aTyr Pharma. Prior to joining aTyr, she served as CFO of Emerald Health Pharmaceuticals and Emerald Health Bioceuticals where she was responsible for establishing operations for the U.S.-based pharmaceutical and bioceuticals entities as well as the establishment of operations, corporate governance, finance and accounting, and investor relations functions. Prior to Emerald Health, Ms. Broadfoot served as Vice President, U.S. Corporate Controller at GW Pharmaceuticals. While at GW Pharmaceuticals, her responsibilities included establishing U.S. commercial operations and implementing U.S. public company financial and accounting standards in connection with the transfer of corporate operations from the U.K. to the U.S. Prior to joining GW Pharmaceuticals, Ms. Broadfoot served as CFO of Vical, held various positions at DJO Global including Vice President of Finance, and served as an audit manager at Ernst & Young LLP. She holds a B.S. in business administration and accounting from San Diego State University and is a Certified Public Accountant.

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Vickie Capps headshot
Vickie Capps
Board Member

Vickie Capps has served on our board of directors since March 2014. From July 2002 to December 2013, Ms. Capps was the Chief Financial Officer of DJO Global, Inc., a medical device company. Prior to joining DJO Global, Inc., Ms. Capps served as the Chief Financial Officer of several other public and private companies. Ms. Capps currently serves as a member of the board of directors and various board committees of NuVasive, Silverback Therapeutics, Janux Therapeutics and Amedisys. In addition, Ms. Capps serves as a member of the senior advisory board of Consonance Partners (CCP), a healthcare investment firm. Ms. Capps previously served on the boards of several other public and private companies including Synthorx, OmniGuide, Connecture, RF Surgical Systems, and SenoRx. Ms. Capps serves as a member of the board of directors of the San Diego State University Research Foundation and is a member of its audit committee and its finance and investment committee. Earlier in her career, Ms. Capps was a Senior Audit and Accounting Professional at Ernst & Young, LLP. Ms. Capps is a California Certified Public Accountant and was recognized as a CFO of the Year Honoree by the San Diego Business Journal in 2009 and 2010. Ms. Capps holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration/Accounting from San Diego State University.

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Ciara Kennedy headshot
Ciara Kennedy, Ph.D.
Board Member

Ciara Kennedy, Ph.D. has served on our board of directors since March 2020. Beginning in 2021, Dr. Kennedy has served as the Chief Executive Officer of Sorriso Pharmaceuticals. From December 2016 through its acquisition by Pfizer in April 2021, she served as President, Chief Executive Officer and director of Amplyx Pharmaceuticals, and previously served as the company’s Chief Operating Officer beginning in October 2015. Prior to Amplyx, she served as Chief Operating Officer at Lumena Pharmaceuticals, until the company’s acquisition by Shire Pharmaceuticals, and then continued as Vice President, Head of Cholestatic Liver Disease at Shire post acquisition. Previously, Dr. Kennedy held several positions at Cypress Bioscience where she played a key role in the company’s FDA approval and launch of Savella® for fibromyalgia, and also held several positions in program and alliance management at Biogen Idec where she managed multiple development projects spanning the drug discovery and development continuum. She is a founder of Reneo Pharmaceuticals and Mirum Pharmaceuticals, and also serves as a member of the board of directors of Amunix Pharmaceuticals and Aristea Therapeutics. Dr. Kennedy received her doctorate at the Queen’s University of Belfast, Northern Ireland, her Master of Business Administration from the Rady School of Management at UCSD, and Bachelor of Science from University of Cork, Ireland.

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Iain McGill headshot
Iain McGill
Board Member

Iain McGill has served on our board of directors since August 2016. Mr. McGill has over 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotech sector and currently serves as Chief Executive Officer and member of the board of directors for Quell Therapeutics, a privately held, innovating cell and gene therapy company in the immune dysregulation field. Between June 2012 and June 2019 Mr. McGill served as Senior Vice President, Europe and Rest of World for Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc with responsibility for all ex-U.S. operations. Between 2010 and 2012, Mr. McGill served as Chief Commercial Officer of EUSA Pharma, a specialty pharmaceutical company based in the UK, which was acquired by Jazz Pharmaceuticals in 2012. From 2006 to 2009, Mr. McGill served as Vice President and Global Business Manager for Transplantation and Immunology at Wyeth, a pharmaceutical company acquired by Pfizer Inc. Previously, Mr. McGill held general management and commercial leadership positions with increasing responsibility over thirteen years at Novartis and Roche. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry from the University of London.

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Ted Schroeder headshot
Theodore R. Schroeder
Board Member

Theodore R. Schroeder has served on our board of directors since August 2015. Since July 2018, Mr. Schroeder has served as Chief Executive Officer and as a member of the board of directors of Nabriva Therapeutics plc, a public biopharmaceutical company. Previously, Mr. Schroeder served as President, Chief Executive Officer and as a member of the board of directors of Zavante Therapeutics, a private biopharmaceutical company, from June 2015 to July 2018. Mr. Schroeder co-founded Cadence Pharmaceuticals, a formerly-public pharmaceutical company, and served as its President and Chief Executive Officer, and as a member of the board of directors, from May 2004 until its acquisition in March 2014 by Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals. Prior to this, Mr. Schroeder held a number of hospital-related sales and marketing positions with Elan, Dura Pharmaceuticals and Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, a global pharmaceutical company. Mr. Schroeder currently serves on the board of directors of Cidara Therapeutics, a public biotechnology company. Mr. Schroeder holds a Bachelor’s degree in management from Rutgers University.

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Dr. David A Weber headshot
David A. Weber, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer, President and Board Member

David A. Weber, Ph.D. has served as our President and Chief Executive Officer and on our board of directors since November 2010. Prior to joining us, Dr. Weber served from February 2004 to April 2010 as the Chief Executive Officer of MacuSight, a developer of a sustained delivery formulation of sirolimus for the treatment of severe ophthalmic diseases. Prior to MacuSight, he served as acting Chief Executive Officer and Executive Vice President of Oculex Pharmaceuticals, a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of intraocular pharmaceuticals and drug delivery systems, until its acquisition by Allergan in 2003. Dr. Weber has also held management positions in healthcare product development with Oral-B Laboratories and The Procter & Gamble Company. Dr. Weber has previously served on the board of directors of Oculis, a clinical stage ophthalmic biotechnology company, and On Demand Therapeutics, a medical device company. Dr. Weber received his Ph.D. in medical microbiology from Creighton University and his Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in biological sciences from Wichita State University.

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Otonomy employees deep in discussion
Our people,
our talent

Otonomy was founded by a patient with a big idea: create a pipeline of innovative products to address the significant unmet needs of patients with hearing and balance disorders. Fulfilling this critical mission and leading the neurotology drug development field is a personal and collective responsibility, embraced and championed by all who work here.

Our team is forward-thinking, collaborative and passionate about cutting-edge research and product development. We are committed to excellence because we understand the connections that can be lost as a result of hearing and balance disorders and what could be gained with new, effective treatments.

Join us »